Leo Alting von Geusau
1st day conference speech

DVCAM 15B 01:43
We had our struggles for 60 years until we discovered that Hani and Akha are 'one people' because we decend from Sumi-o. It's great to dicover our unity. The first conference was held in Hong cheu in Hani area, the beautiful country of the terraces. The second meeting three years ago was in Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai, in our Thai country and the third conference is, again, here. What have we been doing since? Because we had discovered to be one people or descendants of the same people we had been researching our roots, the history, the people's roots of the Hani/Akha culture.

What had we been doing as researchers? To look into the tree of Akha culture with its roots deep in the soil because if the tree has no roots it will die. Why has this been so important? Because we live in a new time in which many of the younger generation in our countries have faced this globalisation, the whole world is mixed up. It comes like a shock to the people in our area. Many Akha/Hani have been studying but they are confused about their past and some have thrown away their ancestors. Others look down on their parents and grandparents. So many have lost their roots and are confused in their life, in the future, in morality.

[...]. Unfortunately many from Laos and Vietnam have not been able to come. First of all many people from other countries were afraid that the aeroplane to the conference would fall from the sky.

To celebrate two-thousand years is, of course, European, Bavarian, American, London. In fact we are in China here so we should say that it's the sixth millenium, because it has been six-thousand years already. For the Akha it's already been two and a half millenia or the third millenium already. So we feel that the Europeans are very young and that Hani/Akha and the Chinese people are very old. Thank you very much and lets work together very hard in the next few days.